Patrolling the US–Mexican Border

If you haven’t heard, we share a border with Mexico. And we patrol it. And the Washington Post published a graphic looking at the patrolling of the US–Mexican border.

Border patrol staffing
Border patrol staffing

Credit for the piece goes to Anup Kaphle and Bill Webster.

Oil Imports

Oil, sweet oil. We Americans love the stuff. Like too much of anything, though, that can lead to some problems. This post isn’t about that. But rather it’s about a New York Times graphic on how even though we are learning to check our sweet tooth, we are importing more oil from the Middle East relative to other oil exporters, like Mexico.

Oil imports
Oil imports

Missions to Mars

Curiosity shall soon be exploring the surface of Mars seeking to understand the geological history of the planet. But in this infographic, see the cropping below, from the National Post we can see previous missions to Mars. We have not always been successful in operations in and around Mars, but our recent track record is much improved.

Missions to Mars
Missions to Mars

 

 

Credit for the piece goes to Mike Faille.

The Muslim World

Today’s post comes via a co-worker of mine and is from the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life. The infographic is of the long-running image type, but in this case is neatly sliced into digestible morsels of tasty infographic-ness. Below is a cropping of the longer piece. It looks at how Muslim populations in different countries feel about the importance of their religion in their daily life.

The Muslim World
The Muslim World

Olympic Medal Ranking

As I wrote about last weekend, one can look at the Olympics rankings in a number of different ways. Even without weighting medal counts, one has to decide whether to rank countries by gold medals (as the IOC does) or by total medals (my personal preference). The New York Times looks at both in an interesting ranking chart.

How France Ranks
How France Ranks

The piece also lets you account for population.

Accounting for population…
Accounting for population…

Credit for the piece goes to Matthew Bloch, Shan Carter, and Amanda Cox.

Surveys of Swing States for the 2012 Presidential Election

The New York Times has been conducting surveys or polls of voters and likely voters in swing states, i.e. the states where the 2012 election will be decided. The nice thing about the piece is that it allows the user to select different sets of demographics through which one can view the questions asked. Furthermore, the user can mouse over the individual bar of a response and see the whole set.

Election Polling
Election Polling

Olympic-sized Appetites

The Olympics bring out the best. Well, at least in athletics. In terms of infographics, not always so much. This piece from CNN is a fairly unorganised mess with lots of individual datapoints. It’s a shame to see this at CNN when so many other news outlets are doing quality graphic work for the Olympics.

Olympic nutrition
Olympic nutrition

Obama Campaign Spending Breakdown

Over the weekend, the New York Times looked at how the Obama campaign has been spending its cash.

Obama Campaign Spending Breakdown
Obama Campaign Spending Breakdown

I appreciate the value in these sort of block charts, but, I wonder if a bar chart would not have been more clear for the comparison. I like the block charts when the designer is rearranging the data in different ways. For example, if the data set also included when the cash was spent, the blocks could be re-ordered into a day by day or month by month analysis.

Weekend Work

Here’s a rare weekend post to showcase some Olympic-related work.

The following graphic looks at how the ranking changes for the Top-10 countries if medals are weighted. To me it is ridiculous that Kazakhstan is ranked higher than Russia because Kazakhstan has won 4 gold medals compared to Russia’s 3 when Kazakhstan has a total of 4 medals whereas Russia has 24. (All counts current as of this post.) So while I have been ranking countries according to their total medal count, what happens if I weight the gold and silver medals against the bronze?

It turns out that the leaders don’t change, but the rest of the Top-10 ranking gets shuffled a bit. For example, Japan has performed well at an overall level with 21 medals thus far. But only two of those have been gold medals and so its rank in the system below fell three positions.

Change in Rank for a Weighted Score
Change in Rank for a Weighted Score

Olympic Performance vs Economic Performance

The Olympics are now fully underway and we can begin to see some patterns about who is doing well and who is, well, not. This infographic has a lot more to say about who had been doing well up through 2008. That is important because that was the last year before the fiscal/financial crisis brought about the first global recession since World War II. Stay tuned for the post-Olympic piece where I look at medal performance in 2012 compared to GDP per capita. Some interesting stories appear to be happening.

One can clearly see that GDP per capita is (generally speaking) a good variable for estimating Olympic success. So the countries in this graphic are three major economic regions. The G7, BRIC, and the Future-7. The G7 are the world’s richest/most productive countries. BRIC are supposed to become the next G7. And the Future-7 is a Euromonitor International grouping that looks at a group of countries that are expected to become the next BRIC-like group of countries.

Economic Groups Compared
Economic Groups Compared

It is probably worth noting that despite this being an infographic for work, where I generally am not allowed to write analysis, the written analysis is mostly mine with some key ideas brought to my attention by co-workers.